Day 222: How and Why I Do What I Do

Blackberry bushes at Peifer Orchard in Yellow Springs.
I have been asked similar questions myself, and my sister-in-law was forced to answer recently as well:
"Don't you have any strawberry jam?"
"Why don't you have any strawberry jam?"
"Can't you just go to the store and buy strawberries?"
"Do you have any (insert out of season produce name here) jam?"
"Do you have any jelly?"
"Do you have any sugar-free/made with Splenda?"

So, allow me to answer:
I did have strawberry jam/preserves in June and early July.  When they were in season.  I have since sold out.  I will endeavor to make more next strawberry season.  Realize, however, that I am not Smuckers.  I am making small batch, seasonal preserves in my home kitchen, surrounded by my many other duties.
Yes, I could go to the store and buy strawberries, but I won't.  I eat and buy seasonally, as you should.  I also personally pick (with some 9-year-old slave labor thrown in) or pick up all of my fruits from local growers, farms, or farmer's markets.  Why? Because it tastes infinitely better, I can be really picky, and I can support local growers and producers, which in turn supports the local economy.  Plus, it's cheaper this way.  Sure, I can buy craptastic flavorless fruit retail at the grocery, but it'll cost me more, which means it'll cost YOU more.
I don't do many jellies because I like to include as much of the whole fruit in my preserves as possible.  I hate waste, both of product and of time.  I also very rarely use pectin, which you pretty much need to set a jelly.  I will probably have them from time to time, but probably only with fruits that preserve best in this manner.

I only use natural sweeteners in my preserves.  Organic cane sugar, local honey, local syrups. Nothing synthetic.  Ever.  If I won't eat it, I won't use it.

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